How I got the shot feature

I have been following Cinnamon Wolfe with Cinnamon Wolfe Photography for over 3 years.  When I first sent her an email, she was so excited to hear that someone was actually reading her blog posts!  Three years later, she is creating her own website for photographers and small business creatives, as well as has her own podcast (how cool is that?!?).

So when she asked for entries on her new site, Cinnamonwolfe.co to show other photographer's how they got a certain portrait, I couldn't wait to enter!

Today on her new blog, she's featuring a portrait that was taken last October for a maternity session.  This family was so beautiful, it was so hard to choose a favorite image!  And can you just feel the love that is in the air between these two??  It's easy to see why I chose this one.

maternity session with Jessica LS Photography in open field

Thanks to Cinnamon Wolfe for featuring this portrait on your new website! Can't wait to see where your new adventure takes you!

Why sometimes an 8x10 just doesn't work

So you decided to print some of your portraits from your recent photo session or maybe that awesome picture you captured with your phone of your daughter.  That's great!  Now the big question:  what size should you print it?

Most people have heard of the universal sizes 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10.  But are those really the right sizes for your photos?  I'm here to tell you, that sometimes those sizes just don't work.

Generally, when we take portraits with a decent camera there is a specific size that the file is made into: 4x6 portrait or a 2:3 ratio.  

This is the size that comes out of most cameras, 4x6, or a 2:3 ratio.

This is the size that comes out of most cameras, 4x6, or a 2:3 ratio.

So what were to happen if you wanted to increase the size to a 5x7?  Keeping the right side of the portrait all the way over so not to lose some of dad's knee, you can see there's not that much of a difference.  You seem to crop a little closer to mom's toes, but it's still ok.

5x7 print takes off just a bit from the edge of a portrait, but not enough to make a big impact on the portrait.

5x7 print takes off just a bit from the edge of a portrait, but not enough to make a big impact on the portrait.

When you crop to an 8x10, you are changing the ratio drastically and losing 2 inches off the end of the portrait.  Mom's toes are almost to the edge of the frame and dad's knees are really close as well.

Notice how much is cut off from the original 4x6 print?  

Notice how much is cut off from the original 4x6 print?  

In these examples, because I included so much extra negative space, or empty space off to the left, creating this into an 8x10 portrait really wasn't that bad.  Unless of course the client and the photographer wanted that extra negative space in the portrait to create a visual effect.  Also remember, when you place a portrait inside a frame, you're generally losing another 1/4 inch all the way around to be able to hold it into the frame.  In this case, there would be no extra space at all.  The frame would go all the way to dad's knee and mom's toes.  But what happens when you have a portrait with no room to be cropped?

Here is a portrait with mom and baby.  I purposely photograph these portraits close for a couple reasons.  One to really show the closeness and bond between mom and baby; and two because new moms normally don't feel like showing off too much of their post-baby body.  So here's the original format, the 4x6 portrait.

The original format of the portrait shows all of baby and  a little bit of room above mom's head.

The original format of the portrait shows all of baby and  a little bit of room above mom's head.

When we crop to a 5x7, mom is slowly losing room above her head and we are cropping closer to baby's toes.

The 5x7 portrait really isn't that bad, but mom is slowly losing room above her head.

The 5x7 portrait really isn't that bad, but mom is slowly losing room above her head.

You really notice the effect of the crop when you try to print it as an 8x10.  You lose some of mom's head AND you lose baby's toes. Displayed in a frame, you would also lose another 1/4" all the way around to be able to hold it into the frame.  It would be cropped further into the top of mom's head and into baby's knee.  This is not the best way to display this portrait.

Not only do you lose baby's toes, you also cut into mom's head in the 8x10 portrait.

Not only do you lose baby's toes, you also cut into mom's head in the 8x10 portrait.

When you hire a photographer to take your portraits, you're also hiring them to help you decide which portraits should be displayed where and how.  You are hiring them for their expertise and their knowledge of how your portraits should be displayed.  Next time, ask your photographer to help you so you can display your portraits beautifully and not cropped!

To inquire about a custom experience and a photography session with Jessica LS Photography, contact her today at hello@jessicalsphotography.com

2016 in Review: Favorite Children Portraits

It still absolutely amazes me how much babies change over the first year.  Did you know that a baby will roughly triple his birth weight, grow 1-1/2 times as long as he was when he was born, and have about 1-1/3 times the head circumference in the first year?  That's a lot of growing!  That's why I feel it is so important to capture them every 3 months.  Some photographers only bring them in the studio every 6 months, but they change so much in that time!  

In 2016, I was able to watch 13 children grow over the year.  A couple I only met once hoping to see them again soon, but the ones I saw every 3 months was so much fun!  Here are my favorite images from those sessions.

I first met this baby boy in February 2015 when he was only 2 weeks new.  Seeing him again at his first birthday was a special treat!  Although he wasn't into the cake, he was definitely into giving lots of smiles!

I first met this baby boy in February 2015 when he was only 2 weeks new.  Seeing him again at his first birthday was a special treat!  Although he wasn't into the cake, he was definitely into giving lots of smiles!

This little kiddo holds a special place in my heart being my first Baby's First Year Plan.  Seeing him turn one years old was like watching my own child's first birthday!  His little smiles during that whole year would make the sun shine brighter!

This little kiddo holds a special place in my heart being my first Baby's First Year Plan.  Seeing him turn one years old was like watching my own child's first birthday!  His little smiles during that whole year would make the sun shine brighter!

Seriously, this little kiddo's smiles just brighten anyone's day.  And those bright blue eyes seem to shine brighter every time I would see him!

Seriously, this little kiddo's smiles just brighten anyone's day.  And those bright blue eyes seem to shine brighter every time I would see him!

Pink and blue just seem to make this little girl stand out even more.  She had SO much fun smashing her cake it was definitely a sight for mom and dad too!

Pink and blue just seem to make this little girl stand out even more.  She had SO much fun smashing her cake it was definitely a sight for mom and dad too!

Mom wanted to capture the love between these two brothers and I think these photos about sum it up.  Big brother was so gentle and caring!

Mom wanted to capture the love between these two brothers and I think these photos about sum it up.  Big brother was so gentle and caring!

I adored every little outfit that mom brought for this baby girl to wear!  And although it would take her a little bit to warm up to the camera, she always had the brightest smiles.

I adored every little outfit that mom brought for this baby girl to wear!  And although it would take her a little bit to warm up to the camera, she always had the brightest smiles.

Dad's love of baseball and the outdoors was the perfect setting for this little guy's portraits.  When he finally gave me a smile it was as if his entire body would light up!

Dad's love of baseball and the outdoors was the perfect setting for this little guy's portraits.  When he finally gave me a smile it was as if his entire body would light up!

I may be a little partial to this session being that it is my daughter.  After watching all the other little babies coming into our home studio, she wanted to make sure she received her own little cake smash.  Who says cake smash fun is only for one year olds?

I may be a little partial to this session being that it is my daughter.  After watching all the other little babies coming into our home studio, she wanted to make sure she received her own little cake smash.  Who says cake smash fun is only for one year olds?

I will be so sad when this little girl turns one year old.  I will definitely miss you personality and smiles!  It is so awesome to be able to watch a baby's personality grow!

I will be so sad when this little girl turns one year old.  I will definitely miss you personality and smiles!  It is so awesome to be able to watch a baby's personality grow!

Every single session, mom would bring in the most adorable outfits!  And hats to match!  His little outfits definitely match his personality as well.  This kiddo has style!

Every single session, mom would bring in the most adorable outfits!  And hats to match!  His little outfits definitely match his personality as well.  This kiddo has style!

I first met this kiddo when he turned 2 years old and loved his big smile!  And when his Husky pal would tag along, it was even more fun!

I first met this kiddo when he turned 2 years old and loved his big smile!  And when his Husky pal would tag along, it was even more fun!

This baby boy's mom is a dear friend that I will surely miss when they leave the area.  Being able to capture this little kiddo was extra special because I not only got to see him grow, but it also meant I got to see my friend too.  

This baby boy's mom is a dear friend that I will surely miss when they leave the area.  Being able to capture this little kiddo was extra special because I not only got to see him grow, but it also meant I got to see my friend too.  

This baby girl is so talkative and personality at 3 months already!  Although she was a little camera shy, as soon as I took that black box away from my face and started talking to her, it would light up her entire face!  I'm so excited to watch her grow!

This baby girl is so talkative and personality at 3 months already!  Although she was a little camera shy, as soon as I took that black box away from my face and started talking to her, it would light up her entire face!  I'm so excited to watch her grow!

These babies will always hold a special place in my heart.  I've been able to watch them go from laying down to sitting up to holding their head up high to walking.  I hope that once I've finished capturing their first year, I'll be seeing them again soon!

If you're interested in Jessica LS Photography capturing your baby's First Year, contact me today. hello@jessicalsphotography.com

2016 in Review: Favorite Newborn portraits

During this month, I've seen a lot of other photographers who have been looking back on 2016.  Not only is it important as a creative person, but anyone really, to see how far they've come.  Over 2016, I had the great honor of photographing 7 newborn babies ranging from 3 days new to 3 weeks old, watching 13 children grow and change over the year, watch as a family was getting ready for a new baby girl in their family, photographed 15 families, and attended 6 different events.  Wow!  That's a lot for one year.  So although there were definitely times that I didn't feel as though I was accomplishing anything, I can honestly say I did!

So as the first month of 2017 is coming to a close, I wanted to share with you my favorite portraits from each type of session.  Here are my favorite newborn portraits from 2016.

Newborn baby Mateo was only 5 pounds when he was photographed.  We were able to make special size outfits just for him!  So thankful that he came in when he did because shortly afterwards he was hospitalized for RSV for a few weeks.  

Newborn baby Mateo was only 5 pounds when he was photographed.  We were able to make special size outfits just for him!  So thankful that he came in when he did because shortly afterwards he was hospitalized for RSV for a few weeks.  

Beautiful baby Mackenzie looks so lovely in pearls and purple (which happens to mom's favorite color too!). She slept wonderfully during her session, but silly me forgot to take photos of just mom and baby!  When she finally came back a week later, she was wide awake!  

Beautiful baby Mackenzie looks so lovely in pearls and purple (which happens to mom's favorite color too!). She slept wonderfully during her session, but silly me forgot to take photos of just mom and baby!  When she finally came back a week later, she was wide awake!  

This baby girl was born at home and came into the studio when she was only 3 days new!  She slept like a dream!  And meeting her 4 older brothers and sisters was a treat also!  When dad asked if he could add his boots into the setup I was super excited!

This baby girl was born at home and came into the studio when she was only 3 days new!  She slept like a dream!  And meeting her 4 older brothers and sisters was a treat also!  When dad asked if he could add his boots into the setup I was super excited!

At 3 weeks old, this little guy LOVED to lay on his tummy and be wrapped up tight.  And gray is definitely his color.  So glad mom was able to have him photographed when she did before he lost some of his new baby squishiness.

At 3 weeks old, this little guy LOVED to lay on his tummy and be wrapped up tight.  And gray is definitely his color.  So glad mom was able to have him photographed when she did before he lost some of his new baby squishiness.

Mom was determined to have an outdoor session with this little baby boy.  I was so super excited to use little spots throughout my yard to put him in also! He loved being wrapped tight and in the end he posed beautifully on a log stump in my front yard too!

Mom was determined to have an outdoor session with this little baby boy.  I was so super excited to use little spots throughout my yard to put him in also! He loved being wrapped tight and in the end he posed beautifully on a log stump in my front yard too!

This little guy loved to snuggle, so I figured why not add a little sleeping teddy bear for him to hold onto.  It was the perfect size!

This little guy loved to snuggle, so I figured why not add a little sleeping teddy bear for him to hold onto.  It was the perfect size!

Nothing could be sweeter than capturing mom with her new baby girl.  Our babies will never be this small again and it's such an honor to photograph their first family portraits.  

Nothing could be sweeter than capturing mom with her new baby girl.  Our babies will never be this small again and it's such an honor to photograph their first family portraits.  

So there you have it! My favorite newborn portraits from 2016.  I hope to be able to capture so many more during 2017.  It's an absolute honor to meet a family's new addition and to be able to capture their first family portrait is an even greater pleasure.  If you or someone you know are expecting, it's never too early to schedule your newborn session. Contact Jessica today to learn more about a Cherish Newborn session.

hello@jessicalsphotography.com

10 Simple Things to do this year to stay on track during the holidays

As a mom of three children, sometimes its hard for me to manage the house, the kids, and take care of myself.  Would I love to be able to spend 1 hour per day at the gym?  Yes!  But sometimes for me, other things take priority and I get left in the wayside.  Well here are some great ways on how to stay on track, even without exercising, during the holidays!  This is a special guest blog post by a very good friend, Jesse Harris, who has actually helped me stay fit during my last pregnancy.

 

It’s getting to be that time of the year. You know. Holiday parties. Cookie exchanges. Fancy cocktails. New Years Eve champagne. And the Eggnog. Oh how I love the eggnog!

With so many temptations at our fingertips, how do we stay on track?
In a study conducted in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers gave scales to 3,000 participants across the US, Germany, and Japan. The results of the study showed that the largest gains were over the Christmas to New Years time frame with Americans gaining and average of 1.3lbs (Miller, 2016).
With 10 of my easy tips, we can avoid being one of those statistics, and stay on track during the holiday season. 

1.  Don't forget about your workout routine. I know with the kids being home from school, all day, for 10ish weekdays, your routine gets a little derailed. Don't let it! If your gym has childcare, drag them a long with you to your daily cycle class! Don't forget your weight training! Try to lift those weights 3x per week! If you don't belong to a gym, it doesn't have childcare, then make a point each day, whether it's in the morning or the evening, to bundle up and go outside for a walk or run. If it's dark, wear reflective gear. If it's cold, wear a hat and scarf. Once you start moving, you'll warm up. Don't neglect your workouts. They are not only for your physical health, but they are a great stress reliever!


2.  Find fitness in daily routines. To piggy back off of the above tip, make decisions that will benefit your health. For example, chose the furthest parking spot from the store. Also, take the stairs. When you're baking or preparing dinner, turn on music and dance. Just keep moving!

3.  Avoid over eating at Holiday parties. First of all, never arrive to a holiday party hungry. When you get to the party and are starving, that is a recipe for disaster. You will fill your plate with everything that isn't nailed down. When making your plate, chose foods high in protein first, then your veggies (no dip), and last, fruit. It's OK to have a piece of pie, but keep it small and don't go back for seconds. Also, try drinking a large glass of water before eating or snacking. The water will fill you up making snacking less tempting. 

4.  Come Prepared. When you go to a holiday party, nine times out of ten you're going to bring a dish to share. Make sure that your dish is a healthy one. If everything at the party is full of butter and fat, at least the dish you have made is guilt-free.

5.  When it comes to your outfit, chose something form fitting. First of all, you deserve to look and feel beautiful. As moms, it's not often we get to dress up, so let's go all out! If you're wearing that form fitting dress, the last think you're going to want to do is feel bloated. Make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid salty snacks.

6.  Cocktails. Oh the delicious, tempting, pretty cocktails. This can be a doozy because at holiday parties, there are SO many different options and concoctions to chose from! First of all, stay away from anything that has "cream". No Bailey's, no Irish Cream, no eggnog (bummer). A little sip is OK, but don't make it your "go-to" drink. You can have a glass of wine, or a lite beer, but limit yourself. When it comes to alcohol, there is no "healthy" holiday drink (other than water). The more alcohol you consume, the less control you begin to have other what you snack on. Carry around a bottle, or glass, of water. Trust me, you'll thank me the following morning when you're not hungover.

7.  When you're cooking, limit the amount of times you "taste" the food. You don't realize how many calories you actually consume while while you're sampling. If you need to taste something, make sure it's a small amount, and only once. Keep that bottle of water on hand. Each time you fill like tasting, drink up! 

8.  "I am not going to eat anything all day to save up all my calories for Thanksgiving dinner!" I have heard this statement many, many times. This is a BIG mistake. When you skip a meal(s), you become so hungry come dinnertime, that you over-eat. On Thanksgiving Day (and Christmas Day), eat a regular healthy breakfast, and a regular healthy lunch. When dinnertime rolls around, you won't be irrational with your food consumption.

9.  Smaller Plates. There have been studies conducted that people tend to over-serve on larger plates. The large the plate, the larger the food intake. Instead of using your standard 12 inch plate this holiday season, try using a 10 inch plate. There's less space to fill which equals less calories.

10.  Walk. Now that Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner is over, make it a family tradition to go for a walk post meal. This will get everyone moving, burn some extra calories, and get people away from the food (to avoid additional snacking).

Reference
Miller, S. (2016, September 21). A look at holiday weight gain in 3 countries. Retrieved October 22, 2016, from https://www.google.com/amp/amp.livescience.com/56206-holiday-weight-gain-america-japan-germany.html?client=ms-android-att-us

 

Fit with Jesse, moms staying fit through the holiday season

Jesse Waldvogel-Harris

Jesse has been training and teaching group exercise since 2004 and has her Masters Degree in Health and Fitness Studies, and her Bachelors in Sports Management. She is also certified through various disciples including National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Senior and Youth Fitness Specialist, Sara City Workouts (SCW) Group Exercise & Moms in Motion, Cycle Fusion Indoor Cycling Level 2, American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA) Agility, Balance and Coordination Exercise Specialist; and Exercise Design Specialist. Jesse is an active blog writer for Fit Mom Strong Mom, and well as a freelance writer for her blog, Mom-spiration.
Jesse's husband is active duty Coast Guard and she is a busy mom of 3 young boys. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, boating with her family, stand-up paddleboarding, and the beach.  

If you'd like to get more information from Jesse, contact her at jessicakath07@yahoo.com or follow her on Facebook FIT. Functional Individualized Training  or on IG at @waldvogelharris